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5 Online Games for Long-Distance Family Bonding

5 Online Games for Long-Distance Family Bonding

A woman smiling while playing a video game on a handheld console.

Keep your familial connections thriving by prioritizing time together even when apart.

When you're living away from your loved ones, it's easy to feel disconnected. That's why separated families must make time for meaningful family bonding. Spending quality time together can help you feel closer to home regardless of distance. While regular in-person visits aren't an option for everyone, virtual hangouts can tide you over until your next real-world adventure. Thankfully, there are endless creative activities for long-distance family time like playing exciting online games.

A woman with two kids playing on a handheld game console together.

Make your virtual catch-ups more exciting by adding online games to your family bonding time.

Online gaming isn't just for teenagers and their rowdy barkada. There are thousands of family-friendly titles for wholesome game nights. Here are just a few of them.

1. UNO!

Hurray, everyone's favorite fast-paced card-shedding game has gone digital. You can now play UNO! for free on various platforms, including mobile devices and gaming consoles. The digital version can accommodate up to four players ages 7+ and follows the same basic rules as its tabletop counterpart.


How it works: Each player sheds a card that matches the color, number, or symbol on the top card in the discard pile. The first player to clear their hand wins the game. Players must yell “UNO!” when they have only one card left; otherwise, they’ll need to add more to their hand and keep playing.

2. Kahoot!

The team behind Kahoot! promises to "make learning awesome" through their interactive online quiz games. If your family loves trivia nights, you'll get a kick out of this. It can also double as a hands-on educational tool for parents who want to support their kids when reviewing for tests. The basic Kahoot! plan is free, but you can sign up for paid plans with more perks starting at $7.99 (~₱443)/month.


How it works: The game master can create their own quizzes, polls, and puzzles or use any existing game on the platform. When you select the custom option, you can tailor the theme to suit your family's interests. For example, you can ask questions about past vacations and take a trip down memory lane!


A toddler’s hand holding two dice.

Bring your game of CATAN to life by rolling real dice at home.

CATAN, a.k.a. Settlers of Catan, is a classic strategy board game. A mix of resource management, trading and negotiation, and tile placement, it's perfect for families who love lighthearted competition. While CATAN is traditionally a tabletop game, Board Game Arena has a free-to-play digital version for up to four players. The platform also has other popular titles available to keep game nights interesting, such as Azul and Ticket to Ride.


How it works: In CATAN, the goal is to accumulate victory points by building settlements, cities, and roads on a randomized board. Players take turns rolling dice to gather the resources they need for their builds. They can trade materials and buy development cards with unique advantages. Whoever gets 10 victory points first wins.

Are you looking for an immersive game your family can play on and off for weeks or months? Try Stardew Valley, a farm life simulation role-playing game. It features delightful pixel art and soothing music reminiscent of retro video games, adding to its cozy and nostalgic atmosphere. It's available on mobile, desktop, and top gaming consoles, and costs between $5 (~₱277) to $15 (~₱830). It's a one-time purchase that also gives you access to future updates from the developer, free of charge.


How it works: In Stardew Valley, players inherit a rundown farm and must restore it to its former glory. The game has solo and multiplayer modes. In the latter, up to four players can "live" on one plot and care for it together. The game combines farming, crafting, exploration, combat, and NPC (non-playable character) relationship-building, so there's something for everyone.

Want a virtual activity that’ll give your family an all-too-real adrenaline rush? Sign up for a Remote Adventure hosted by The Escape Game. Now, you can experience the popular U.S. franchise's actual escape rooms in real time and online. "Each game is live and hosted by a Game Guide [wearing] a camera with a video feed," they explain on their website. "You'll see what they see."


How it works: First, you'll book a date and time, then choose an escape room to pay for and play. Rates start at $30 (or around ₱1,668) plus taxes per player. While The Escape Game's teams are U.S.-based, their games are open to anyone, anywhere. Everything happens over Zoom, and you'll have guides helping you throughout. Ultimately, your team must work together to "find clues, crack codes, and solve puzzles" to complete your mission.

Uninterrupted gameplay requires a fast, reliable internet connection. To ensure your family bonding time continues without a hitch, sign up for a fiber plan so you can play online games, make video calls, chat with your loved ones, and stream background music all at once. You can also avail of reloadable unlimited internet at ₱299 for seven days with GFiber Prepaid WiFi—perfect for those back-to-back gaming sessions.

Vibe check! How does this make you feel?